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My Name Is NOT Cancer

Tribute from Mum

Megan Fletcher and her mum
Megan, having had radiotherapy
and recovered from pneumonia,
at a special dinner with her friends,
pictured here with her mum in
March 2010

This has been excruciatingly painful to write! Without a doubt, I have been avoiding it - and yet I keep recalling the advice I always gave to Meg, on so many, far too many, occasions, to "square up" when things are tough, when she didn't want to do something even though she knew she had to! Those words are right back at me...its time to "square up"!

To talk of Meg in the past tense is wrong! She has been and always will be with us. Meg left each of us a gift; of moments and memories – priceless each of them, unique every one!

Megan never made me cry – until now.

This sadness, this enormous cavern of emptiness, this void Megan has left is overwhelmingly painful. If pain is a measure of my love for Meg… bring it on… keep it coming… don’t stop… because the love I feel for Meg, and the joy she brought me, is infinite. There is no limit.

As a little girl Meg had a passion for books. She was totally captivated by the "magic" of the written word and would spend countless hours totally absorbed in a story. She would tell me how the words came alive in her head and she could see the pictures! In fact, Meg read the whole brand new addition of Harry Potter, in one night, using her phone light to see! Then, she read it again… just because she could!

It was as a little child that she became obsessive about all things Disney, which continued throughout her life. They were her "feel good" films, and for many of us, moments and memories are watching Snow White, Cinderella, Robin Hood with her. She had them all, and would eagerly await the new re-release of old classics! What a collection! It is to the music of Disney that her passion for dance started. She had an enormous teddy that would be her prince… and she would swirl for hours around the lounge with this teddy... being Belle or Cinders.

Meg loved to dance, never self conscious, just enjoying herself, with energy… always smiling!

There are so many fantastic memories, so many moments. Everyone is filled with laughter.

Megan with kittens
Megan led the way in saving six feral kittens

Meg loved animals. She led the way (with the help of her sister and friends of the family) in "saving" six feral kittens in a new litter, sleeping in the top bay of the barn. We already had seven ferral cats and a ruck of new additions was not good...Meg had overheard me telling her dad, they had to go! HUGE posters and placards were made by this band of heroes, and pinned to the wall along the road with the words “SAVE OUR PUSSIES”! Feeling compelled to move the kittens to safety, and in a quandary as to how to get them down from the top bay, Meg encouraged her sister to tie baler twine round their necks, and lower them down, one by one!! Thank goodness we heard the kittens protest - just before the "noose" went on!

Then there was the "Let's electrocute Luke" incident. The girls had their cousins to play and they had taken off down the field (a bit like swallows and amazons... would come back for food but otherwise were absorbed in whatever game was favourite at that time) Other friends and their siblings were also playing that day. The youngest (Ellis) was only 5. I remember Megan was the last to join them as I'd been reminding her of looking out for the others, as she was the oldest! Several minutes passed, then in walked Ellis, looking very dazed and holding both hands out in front. He kept on doing a weird little shudder. Apparently the fence had hurt his hands! Meg, the little sod, must have turned the fence on! I rushed out but couldn't find her anywhere. The kids had made their way back from the field and didn’t know where Meg was either. Then we heard her… up the top of a tree, perched on the highest branch. She was in tears… so distraught… owned up immediately and confessed her crime, so upset she had electrocuted little Ellis - as she had been trying to get Luke!!!

Even going through all the shit that comes with Cancer, Megan's love for laughter and fun never stopped, indeed it continued throughout her life. She loved University socials and had a vast collection of clothes to suit any fancy dress occasion at the student union!

Fiona and Megan Fletcher
Megan and Fiona walking the
Aqueduct at Pontcysyllte April 2010

At Christmas, we were told that Meg was chemo resistant. Shit! In true form, Meg didn’t want to spoil anyone’s festive season so we kept that news to ourselves and set about having the best Christmas ever. It snowed – MAGICAL!! So, on Christmas Eve, we all went out to build a snowman and Becky made snow angels. However somewhere in the making, Meg changed the snowman into a rocket that then became a SNOW WILLY! It was huge, and Meg carefully erected (sorry wrong word) it onto the wall, overlooking the water feature and the main road! Artistic talent took over and two very large tentacles were also fashioned out of snow and placed in situ! I was really concerned about shocking the neighbours, however Megs reply was "if they can’t see the funny side, they shouldn’t be looking"!

Meg would often burst into song… any song...but more often than not it would be: The most wonderful thing about Tiggers, Is Tiggers are wonderful things, Their tops are made out of rubber, Their bottoms are made out of springs, They`re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun ,fun, FUN… But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is, I'M THE ONLY ONE!

Megan skipped! Whenever she was excited or happy, or was just being Meg… she skipped!

At secondary school, she had her own signature walk, a bit like spotty dog! Her own unique style, always a bit quirky and fun… never self conscious! One of her oldest friends told me how she would come round the corner, her eyes would light up, she would give him the biggest of smiles (as though she hadn't seen him for ages) skip towards him, clapping her hands…all sparkling eyes and beaming smile (and there he was… trying to be oh so cool!)… all because… they had maths and science next!

She loved learning, loved Uni, loved life. When she had to defer going back in September last year as the chemo hadn’t worked, she was truly crushed. One of her lowest moments.

I have had the privilege of walking this path beside Megan. Every step; the chemo; the shingles; the radiotherapy; the pneumonia; the disappointment; the heartache; the loss of her beautiful long hair (her pride and joy); the impact of steroids; the pain of bone marrow biopsies; the whole fucking shit!

But you know what… she NEVER lost her positivity. Always kept her sense of self! Her name was not Cancer…it was Megan… and whoa betide the professionals if they ever forgot it! She kept smiling! Her courage and determination was awesome… ALWAYS GAME ON!

And in these last months, my beautiful Meg came to a deeper understanding of who she is. She believed, if anything happened, she would always be at the end of my fingertips, in that other dimension that is heaven, which is throughout the universe and not restricted to being in one place at a time…she can be with each one of us, wherever we are, whenever we think of her…at the end of our fingertips, and in our hearts.

Megan was a collector of people. All her life and throughout this journey! So many people! She loved each one of you! Each of you brought her joy and she always gave you precious time.

Woman's hand with a butterflyMegan had to adjust to a new path and a new direction which required new qualities and strength. She acquired those qualities… and accomplished great things!

My darling Meg, You are a unique and magnificent human being. Of all the billion people on the planet, there has not been, or ever will be, another you. Your very existence has been, and will always be, vital to the functioning of our universe, because you are one part of the whole. All that we see, and all that there is, could not exist without you! So we will try and do as you always did, all your life, and look for the gifts in everything… and we will continue to look for those gifts, even when facing what appears to be a negative situation.

Sweetheart, it has been a privilege, a delight, my greatest joy and an honour to be your mum.

Megan is my first born, my beautiful baby girl, my little honey bun, my little butterfly

I will always remember when; will always love you; always miss you…

End of my fingertips…forever in my heart… always!

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